This is the most vulnerable post I’ve ever written (yet), so I felt I should preface it before you read it and then ‘let it all hang out’… I felt compelled to record the results of a theme-centered year (I set an idea rather than a resolution for 2015) and the gifts I’ve found in a very difficult time. I could do it because I promised myself when I sat down in front of a blank screen that it might never see the light of day. Then, once it existed, I decided to share for a few reasons: firstly, I hope the people with roles in the story see themselves and receive the thanks I can’t express enough directly; secondly, I hope MY lessons resonate where they’re needed -seeing beauty in the bleak was a gift that got me through so much this year; and thirdly, the end of one revolution is such a beautiful start of another – putting into words my year of the heart has opened up my ‘idea’ for 2016. I’ve decided this is my year of ‘little miracles’. I intend to recognize them, to seek them out, and to create them for myself and others. There… now it’s out there. I invite you to help me, join me, share with me and celebrate with me!

What did 2015 teach you? Were you able to see the beauty? With a blank slate in front of you, what are you claiming for 2016?

‘Round about this time last year, I decided to declare 2015 ‘The Year of Living from My Heart’. Granted, I only declared it to myself and a trusted friend – but still.

I think, especially viewed from the outside, that I’m pretty good at living from the heart on a day-to-day basis. I’ve had example after example prove to me that acting in accordance with what ‘feels’ right reaps the biggest reward. And besides, I have no poker face. Why hide with words and subdued action what my face and exuberant hand gestures (or worse, my blushing cheeks) give away anyway :). I can’t be the straight-laced, buttoned-up practitioner – so why try…

Living from the heart, for me, meant setting my intention to be even more authentic. With those in my professional life, with those in my personal life, and most importantly with myself.

Over the years, I’ve had many occasions when I should have learnt the ‘be careful what you ask for’ lesson. I’ve walked a mile in the debilitating back-pain shoes, another in the self-doubt shoes (which pinch worse than the physical pain shoes, by the way), and been around the block more times than I’ll admit wearing the shameful shoes of martyrdom-because-they’ll-like-me-better. I really thought the ‘heart’ shoes were ones that were meant for walking and that I’d stride right through a year centered on such a noble/feel-good foundation…oops…be careful what you ask for.

This year my heart’s been through the wringer – but having reached year-end still standing and with a little distance to give perspective, I can see the lessons and the gifts that were doled out along with the pain. The beauty is in the inverse relationship. As I’m catching my breath I realize that as the pain dulls, so the blessings shine.

In the spring, on my birthday in fact, my dad passed on. The experience of not having him here (let alone the inhumanly overwhelming rollercoaster of hope and despair a family rides in the last days) to me has felt like the proverbial tooth ache – sometimes a sub-conscious thrumming, sometimes an ‘attention must be paid’ breath-stealer, and sometimes, on relatively pain-free days, I absentmindedly poke at it because it’s reassuring to know it’s still there. I think rightly, it has tempered my thoughts and my actions through much of this year – occasionally in ways I’m not proud of, but in many ways for which I am grateful.

Several years ago, in a Personal Care session with Dr. Morter (the creator of the B.E.S.T. technique I use in my work with many of you reading) I was asked to clarify the one thing that I was taking away from the class. Spontaneously, I answered, ‘an understanding of the BENEVOLENCE of the universe’. This year – my heart year – has been a reaffirmation and clarification of that sentiment.

There was certainly pain – but I’d learned the tools that allowed me to put one foot in front of the other through a crisis (Gratitude); in my time of emergency, and in the immediate need for healing when the crisis was over I had people to lean (and quite often fall) into (Love & Community); I have a gift I come to daily that I call ‘work’ which gave me normalcy, purpose and forward propulsion (Fulfillment); with a reminder that time can be short I stepped out of my ‘box’ and found a network of new, supportive contacts that have transcended into friends and allies that I intend to share my passion with for a long time to come (Friendship, Excitement….Bliss)
I had no idea what I was setting myself up for when I ‘requested’ a heart-centered year. I’d give almost anything to have learned the lessons in a different way… but I stand on the brink of a new year being GRATEFUL for having learned them.

I was inspired, as my dad left, with the feeling of ‘Satisfied’. I hope it was his final feeling-word. With my tooth-achy heart stronger as this year starts, I’m claiming it as the summary of my heart-centered year.

Now to choose carefully for 2016…

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